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UCL Faculty of Laws

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Prof William Twining

Prof William Twining

Emeritus Quain Professor of Jurisprudence

Faculty of Laws

UCL SLASH

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2004

Research summary

His recent work explores the implications of “globalisation” for legal scholarship and legal theory. Central themes include the variety and complexity of legal phenomena; that many so-called “global” processes and patterns are sub-global, linked to empires, diasporas, alliances and legal traditions; that diffusion, legal pluralism, and surface law are important topics for both analytical and empirical jurisprudence; that, in a world characterised by profound diversity of beliefs and radical poverty, the discipline of law needs to engage with problems of constructing just and workable supra-national institutions and practices; and that adopting a global perspective challenges some of the main working assumptions of Western traditions of academic law.

Professor Twining is researching in the following areas:

General Jurisprudence

Narrative and Reasoning in Legal Contexts

Analysis of Evidence

Teaching summary

Undergraduate:

World Legal Orders

Graduate:

Evidence and Proof - Part A

Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition

Law Teachers' Programme

Biography

William Twining, was Quain Professor of Jurisprudence from 1983 until 1996; after a period as Research Professor he became Emeritus in 2004. He has held chairs in Belfast and Warwick and numerous visiting appointments.


At the start of his career William taught for seven years in Sudan and Tanzania. He has maintained an interest in Eastern Africa, and more broadly the Commonwealth, ever since. He has studied and taught in several leading UK and American law schools. A prominent member of the Law in Context movement, he has contributed especially to jurisprudence, evidence and proof, legal method, legal education, intellectual history and legal archives.


His recent work explores the implications of globalisation for legal scholarship and legal theory. Central themes include the variety and complexity of legal phenomena; that many so-called global processes and patterns are sub-global, linked to empires, diasporas, alliances and legal traditions; that diffusion, legal pluralism, and surface law are important topics for both analytical and empirical jurisprudence; that, in a world characterised by profound diversity of beliefs and radical poverty, the discipline of law needs to engage with problems of constructing just and workable supra-national institutions and practices; and that adopting a global perspective challenges some of the main working assumptions of Western traditions of academic law.


His main current research is for the Legal Records at Risk project (LRAR) which is concerned with the preservation of records of private sector institutions specialised to law in England and Wales.


William Twining was awarded the 2016 Halsbury Legal Award for Academic Achievement.

Publications